Khabib Nurmagemedov is still listed as the UFC’s lightweight champion. However, Nurmagomedov is expecting the UFC to hand the title over to the winner of Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier at UFC 257.
The UFC lightweight division was turned on top of its head once Khabib decided to retire after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. But, who could blame him? After losing his father, the biggest component of his fight career, “The Eagle’ promised his mother that he wouldn’t continue fighting without his dad by his side.
Khabib on Vacating his Title
Nurmagomedov recently spoke with the Russian news outlet MatchTV. During the conversation, he revealed his belief that the winner of the UFC 257 main event will take his lightweight title.
“(There are) Top three (lightweight) fighters right now?” Nurmagomedov said.
“Poirier, McGregor, and (Islam) Makhachev. He is not in the top-five yet, but those are the best fighters. “My belt will be taken by the winner of Dustin and Conor.”
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John Kavanagh on UFC 257
Recently, McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh said that Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier should be for UFC lightweight title at UFC 257. While many fans of the sport believe that the winner of the bout will face Justin Gaethje, Kavanagh doesn’t see why the main event winner shouldn’t be awarded UFC gold.
“If he (McGregor)so chooses (to change divisions ). Yes. I don’t know what the exact plan is, but I don’t really get why this one (Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier) isn’t for the title; if I’m being a hundred percent honest,” said coach John.
“Maybe it’s Dana (White). This is a little carrot towards Khabib (Nurmagomedov), you know, ‘do you really want this guy to’…I don’t know. I don’t know those types of games. Don’t involve myself in it. But this, to me, feels like it’s for the (UFC lightweight) belt. I guess at the very least, the winner of this will be offered a title fight. But who would that be against? It’s a bit of a strange scene we have in front of us, which makes it interesting.”
The magnitude of McGregor vs Poirier certainly feels like a UFC championship fight. However, it’s unclear if Khabib is still in the picture, or if he will continue to stay retired. Currently, the UFC has yet to strip Nurmagomedov of his championship. But, if the UFC decides to strip Khabib of his table before UFC 257, it’ll be interesting to see if the organization upgrades the main event to a title fight.
Ultimately, if Khabib says that the winner will get his title, then the chances of his hopeful comeback are slowly dwindling.